Estate Planning Checklist

Courtesy of Mackenzie Investments, Posted 17 Dec 2016


Thinking about death and putting off planning your estate — one is difficult and the other is very easy. If they remain ignored, death or incapacity and the absence of estate planning can combine to create a less than ideal situation for your loved ones and beneficiaries. Without careful planning, the administration of your estate may encounter long, painful and avoidable delays. The government could end up collecting more taxes than could have been reduced; and, more significantly, someone, other than yourself, may end up deciding the devolution of your estate.

Every Canadian adult — regardless of financial situation — should have an up-to-date estate plan that outlines the following:

  1. Who is responsible for distributing your assets;
  2. Who gets what and when they get it;
  3. Who will take care of your minor children;
  4. Who will manage any trust accounts under your Will; and
  5. Who will make financial and medical decisions if you are incapacitated.

To take control of your estate, we suggest the following five steps:

  1. Determine your estate planning goals.
  2. Consider which estate planning tools fit your situation best.
  3. Start raising estate-planning issues with your family.
  4. Choose the people you would like to speak for you.
  5. Keep your estate plan up to date.